Lifting the Curtain is not just a series of beautiful, evocative photographs of East London, but a topical, thought-provoking study of how the area has changed since Victorian times.
Keith Greenough started with Charles Booth's 19th century survey of East London, which documented the poverty and living or working conditions of its inhabitants, and set out to photograph many of the locations covered in the survey.
He shot the pictures at nighttime or dawn when the locations were empty of people, and the very lack of people draws your attention not just to the detail and atmosphere of the contemporary location, but also allows you to overlay the survey’s descriptions, quotes from which are hung alongside each picture.
There are fascinating visual details that comment on both contemporary and Victorian London, such as the picture of Bethnal Green Road that foregrounds a cobblers called Well Heeled with a Victorian pub and piles of rubbish in the background; the surprising beauty of a market stall in Wentworth Street, wrapped in polythene and backlit by the street light, as the Georgian houses and shuttered shop fronts march away down the street; the two surviving buildings of a Victorian terrace in Whitechapel High Street isolated by towering, gleaming office blocks.
Some pictures show how much has changed - the increasing affluence that creeps ever further east - while others highlight how little has really changed for some areas and their inhabitants. But overall the pictures evocatively conjure up the nighttime of the East End, with its abandoned pubs, strange street art, 21st century office blocks and old gas silos, lit by the contrasting blue light of dawn and the orange light of the streets.
And in a neat and satisfying circularity, Greenough is donating the proceeds from the sales of the prints to Toynbee Hall, the East End charity where Booth and his researchers based themselves while they conducted the original survey.
Chisenhale Gallery,64-84 Chisenhale Road,E3 5QZ
I really enjoyed the Photowalk with Alina, I found it really inspiring talking to her and she gave me lots of ideas and strategies to help advance my photography.
It was great to get an insight into her working life and approaches to photography.
I also really enjoyed the hands on aspect of the workshop, and the fact that we were able to put into practice what we had been talking about in her studio, and Alina was on hand to guide us.
Would thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in developing their photography, or wants to try something different in terms of their subject matter or approach.
The Portfolio Clinic with Alina Kisina proved to be a very productive and insightful 20 minutes.
We reviewed my current project, presented in a dummy book format, for which Alina offered insightful and valuable advice, giving me the opportunity to look again and review my work from another perspective. She helped me to re-think my approach to the project and recommended that I review the sequencing and editing of the series.
Reflecting on the re-sequencing and edit based on her advice a stronger and more focussed series has emerged - demonstrating the value of her guidance.
Alina's approach to the review was supportive, pragmatic and very constructive - helping to reinforce my own thinking but also making me re-think previous decisions. Her strength was to help me recognise the weaknesses in the series, which I perhaps already knew, while reminding me of the strengths.
We closed the session with helpful advice on how to approach future portfolio reviews in terms of selecting reviewers, being clear and direct about the outcomes you are seeking and how to make the most of a limited review time.
I would highly recommend Alina to anyone seeking advice and guidance on approaching portfolio reviews, or simply seeking guidance on a current project.
Karen was a delight to hear from and I found her talk very motivational
It was lovely to meet you and hear your talk yesterday.
Soaked up the #photography knowledge from @karen_harvey @shutter_hub tonight. Thanks for your ongoing support Karen (via Twitter)
I enjoyed the talk very much... Much of what I heard last night I had heard previously or due to experience was familiar with. However, I found many of her off hand comments to be most informative and useful, her insights and opinions.
inspiring & motivational talk at Printspace on Tuesday eve last week..!
I just wanted to drop you a message to express how enjoyable the talk you did this evening at Printspace was. I found it to be informative and funny and you definitely left me with a few things to think about and a drive to engage with shutter hub and all it has to offer. I look forward to seeing you again...!
I wanted to say thank you for an entertaining and informative evening on Tuesday at the printspace.
very encouraging, thanks
Leo at thePrintspace also said that they had received some good feedback from people who attended. He said:
thanks again to both of you for a fantastic event, Karen your unique sense of humour and presenting style went down a treat! Lots of happy and inspired photogs!
So overall it was a really successful evening, especially as tickets sold out! Karen was really pleased with the reception she got. We've also had several of the attendees join Shutter Hub, and some have contacted us since with ideas for Shutter Hub and items for our blog which is fantastic for us. Thanks very much to you and everyone at Photomonth for this, and also thanks to Leo and Ameena at thePrintspace for everything they did to set this up. We look forward to the rest of Photomonth and hopefully working with you all again in the future.
We had a great Photowalk session with photographer, Alina Kisina around the East end of London. We found it really inspiring visiting her studio and seeing all her fantastic work. My son has only just started to become interested in photography and she really opened his eyes to it's possibilities. We have been noticing reflections everywhere now!
Hawkhurst Vault,240 Brick Lane,E2 7EB
Nick Simpson presents further photographic revelations from the vaults of this Victorian Great Grandfather, the inventor and photographic pioneer Samuel Heracles Gascoigne-Simpson. Recently rediscovered plates reveal the 19th century eccentric's extraordinary photographic odyssey into the bizarre underground world of a hitherto unknown Victorian England.
None of the pictures exhibited here (featuring some of the most recently restored plates) were ever publicly shown or published during his lifetime. Fearing scandal due to the often indecorous and salacious nature of the images, the Gascoigne-Simpson family kept their eccentric and unorthodox relative's bizarre work hidden from public sight for almost a century. Following the recent death of an elderly relative, a quantity of glass plates was discovered by the creator's great grandson Nick Simpson, himself a photographer, who has made it his mission to bring this wonderful body of work to a wider audience.
An excellent selection of photos and stories - hung and lit really well again.
Fascinating to see how people interpreted the brief. For no reason other than its charming brevity I thought the single photo of two boys on their bikes on a grassy horizon was a fine example of simple story telling.
The photos of the Korean war veteran - a Colombian gentleman too - were so beautfully powerful. As was the sequence of the demolition of the cooling towers at the old Richborough power station in Kent. And there is more....
Just a brief note to say how much I enjoyed the Portfolio Review on Saturday. The atmosphere was just right, procedures and timing spot on, and the criticism and guidance excellent. Please convey my thanks to the Portfolio Reviewers, Amy, and the team that organised the event. I am well aware that these things do not just happen, and are the result of considerable planning, coordination, and team work.
Thank you very much for organising the Portfolio Review on Saturday - it was of great value to me - and the day was run with great efficiency and humour, I really enjoyed it.